Amex Business Gold vs. Amex Business Platinum

Sep 23, 2019

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In American Express’ lineup of small-business credit and charge cards, the American Express® Business Gold Card and the Business Platinum® Card from American Express are two popular offerings. Both were refreshed in the last year to stay competitive in the marketplace for small-business reward cards. Let’s take a look at them and see which one might be right for you.

Benefits common to both cards

As premium travel rewards cards, both come with many of the same features, including:

  • Membership Rewards points — Membership Rewards points can be transferred to miles with 19 airline and three hotel loyalty programs. The points are currently worth 2 cents each, according to TPG’s latest monthly valuations.
  • Purchase protection — Your eligible purchases are covered against accidental damage or theft for 120 days (90 days for New York residents) for up to $1,000 per incident with the Business Gold and for up to $10,000 per incident with the Business Platinum. However, coverage related to natural disasters is limited to $500 per incident.
  • Extended warranty — Your purchases receive up to two additional years of warranty service on purchases with warranties of five years or less. Warranties of less than two years are matched, while warranties of two to five years are extended by two years.
  • Baggage insurance — Business Gold cardholders receive up to $500 worth of insurance for damaged, stolen or lost checked bags ($1,250 for carry-ons), while Business Platinum card holders will receive up to $2,000 for checked bags ($3,000 for carry-ons) when traveling on any common carrier such as aircraft, trains, ships or buses. You must pay for the full fare using the card — just paying taxes and fees on an award ticket doesn’t count — and there’s a $1,000 cap ($250 for the Business Gold) for high-risk items.
  • The Hotel Collection — Get up to a $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival (when available), when you book a stay of two nights or longer with The Hotel Collection.
  • Premium roadside assistance — This benefit will dispatch and pay for emergency automotive services up to four times per year, including changing a flat tire, jump-starting a battery and towing your car up to 10 miles.
  • Account manager — Most credit cards only allow the primary cardholder to make inquiries or changes to the account, but this service lets you easily designate employees or other individuals who can manage your account with either full or limited access, making it easier to delegate tasks like reviewing statements, adding authorized users, making payments and disputing charges.
  •  American Express Business App — This tool allows you to manage expenses from either your desktop or mobile device by entering receipts, tagging transactions and adding notes to your statements. You can also sync this data with QuickBooks.
  • Employee card features — To help you earn rewards from your employees’ spending while mitigating the risk of fraudulent transactions, Amex small-business cards allow you to limit the purchases of authorized cardholders and set real-time alerts.
  • No foreign transaction fees — Neither the Amex Business Gold (see rates and fees) nor the Business Platinum (see rates and fees) charges fees when you use your card abroad.
  • Metal card — Both the Business Gold and the Business Platinum feature heavy metal cards.
  • Charge card — These are actually charge cards instead of credit cards, meaning that you’re expected to pay each month’s statement balance in full, but you also have no preset spending limit. You can, however, opt into Amex’s Pay Over Time feature that allows you to extend payment on certain purchases.

American Express Business Gold Card

Earn 4x points on two of six categories including airfare purchased directly from airlines (to the Maldives, perhaps) with the Business Gold Card.

Current welcome bonus

This card currently offers up to $500 back in the form of statement credits for purchasing qualifying services from FedEx using your Card within the first three months of Card membership (offer ends Nov. 6, 2019).

You may also be able to get a 50,000-point welcome bonus through a referral link instead (subject to change at any time).

Rewards

Earn 4x points — an 8% return based on TPG’s valuations — on your first $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year (then 1x) from two of the following six categories where your company spent the most each billing cycle:

  • U.S. purchases at restaurants
  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
  • U.S. gas stations (not including supermarkets or warehouse stores)
  • U.S. shipping
  • U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions

You earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases, with no limits. Amex will automatically calculate which categories you spend the most in each month to award your 4x points.

Benefits

  • 25% Pay with Points rebate — You’ll get 25% of your points back when you redeem points at Amex Travel to pay for first- or business-class airfare on any airline, or economy-class tickets with a carrier you can select each year. Award flights booked this way are treated as revenue tickets, so you’ll earn both redeemable miles and elite credit on them. Note that you must have the full number of required points in your account in order to book travel and your rebate will be issued within six to 10 weeks. This rebate is capped at 250,000 points per calendar year.
  • Pay Over Time — Business Gold cardmembers are automatically enrolled in the Pay Over Time program, which offers an extended payment option for eligible purchases of $100 or more. Therefore, this card is somewhat of a hybrid between a credit card and a charge card, which requires you to pay off your balance in full each month.
  • See our full card review for more details

Annual fee: $295 (see rates & fees)

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
You can earn 5x Membership Rewards points with the Amex Business Platinum card when you book prepaid hotels through amextravel.com. (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Current welcome bonus

Now through Dec. 4, 2019, the Amex Business Platinum is offering a limited-time, elevated welcome bonus. New applicants can earn up to 100,000 points: 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000, all on qualifying purchases within your first three months of card membership.

Rewards 

Earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases, and:

  • 1.5x points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com.
  • Terms Apply

Benefits

Which card should you get?

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
Although both cards earn valuable Membership Rewards points, their benefits and bonus earning categories are very different. (Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

The Business Platinum Card’s $595 annual fee can seem intimidating compared to the Business Gold Card‘s $295 annual fee. But for the extra $300 in annual fees, you get the Business Platinum’s $200 annual airline fee credit and $200 of Dell statement credits each year. So, if you can fully use these credits, you’ll come out ahead  before even considering the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit (which you can use for yourself or a friend every four to 4.5 years).

Of course, the Business Platinum’s limited-time, 100,000-point welcome bonus dwarfs the $500 statement that the Amex Business Gold is currently offering to entice new customers. Based on TPG’s valuation of Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, that 100,000 point bonus is worth a whopping $2,000 if you’re able to meet both spending tiers.

Plus, you’ll likely get value from the other valuable benefits exclusive to the Business Platinum card. These include Gogo Wi-Fi access, Marriott and Hilton elite status, multiple types of lounge access and more. For most business travelers, these benefits will offer more than enough value to justify the Business Platinum card’s annual fee.

The case for the Business Gold Card

Would I always recommend the Business Platinum card over the Business Gold Card? Of course not. The Business Platinum card offers excellent perks, but if you’re not likely to make use of all those benefits, then the Business Gold Card is worth a closer look — and it can offer superior earning potential.

For example, if you already have a Priority Pass Select membership with another card, the Business Platinum card mostly just adds Centurion Lounge and Delta Sky Club lounge access. But you may not often visit airports with Centurion lounges and if you don’t fly Delta, you can’t use the Sky Club.

As for the fee credits, there are plenty of business travelers who never check a bag or need to purchase inflight food or entertainment, although change fees can be unavoidable. (However, there are other ways to use the fee credits). Also, most savvy business travelers already have Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, so the application fee credit isn’t good for much other than a gift for someone else.

But perhaps the best case to be made for the Business Gold Card over the Business Platinum Card is to gain the opportunities for earning bonus points. There are plenty of small-business owners who can make use of the 4x bonus categories and the $150,000 annual cap (of combined purchases) is very generous. If you get anywhere close to maximizing those bonuses, the value of the points you earn will dwarf the Business Gold card’s $295 annual fee. Indeed, if you spend $150,000 in 4x categories, you’ll earn 600,000 Membership Rewards points which TPG values at $12,000.

Bottom line

Depending on the size and nature of your business, you might even consider getting both cards: Carry the Business Gold when you can maximize the 4x spending categories, and keep a Business Platinum to enjoy benefits like Centurion Lounge access, 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare, hotel and rental car elite status and the 35% rebate on points redeemed for airfare through Amex Travel. By examining your business needs, you can choose the best combination of cards to maximize your award travel possibilities.

If one of these cards sounds right for you, here are the official application links: American Express® Business Gold Card ($500 bonus) and The Business Platinum Card from American Express (100,000-point bonus)

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, please click here.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Aside from the up to 100,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$595
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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